Poker Central Bets on OTT

Launch of subscription service, PokerGO, follows shutdown of TV network late last year
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Poker Central this week launched PokerGO, an OTT-delivered subscription service that makes its debut about six months after the programmer decided to shut down a linear TV network that was carried by a few MVPDs.

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Poker Central said the new subscription service, which sells for $99 per year or $10 per month, features a mix of live events, including the Super High Roller Bowl and coverage from the World Series of Poker (via a new four-year deal with ESPN), original programming and a VOD library.

The service will also expand this summer to include coverage of weekly high stakes cash games.  Originals for PokerGO include Dead Money: A Super High Roller Bowl Story (a documentary about Matt Berkey, a 2016 finalist) and Pokerography (bios of poker pros). Catalog programming includes Poker After Dark, Face the Ace and Doubles Poker Championship.

Per Poker GO’s site, the OTT service is available on the web, via iOS and Android mobile devices, Apple TV boxes, Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices, and the Chromecast platform. Support for PlayStation and Xbox consoles is in the works.

Poker Central launched a TV network in the fall of 2015, and opted to shut down the channel in December 2016, which had carved out distribution deals with the National Cable Television Cooperative, Buckeye Broadband, Sony’s PlayStation Vue. Cox Communications also carried the channel in hotels.  

"It's a digital pivot because we saw our millennial audience wanted more content. But they wanted new, original content," Joe Kakaty, president of Poker Central, said of the decision at the time. "TV is not going away -- it's just how we’ll work with TV that is going to change.”

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